tv Cavuto Live FOX News September 1, 2018 7:00am-9:00am PDT
redeemer lives. and at the last, he will stand upon the earth after my awaking, he will raise me up. and in my body, i shall see god. i myself, shall see and behold him who is my friend and not a stranger. for none of us has life in himself and none becomes his own master when he dies. for if we have life, we are alive in the lord. and if we die, we die in the lord.
good morning, i am the dean of washington national cathedral. on behalf of the episcopal bishop of the diocese of washington, and all of us who serve our lord at this cathedral, welcome. welcome to this house of prayer for all people. it is an honor to host this service for senator mccain. to his wife, cindy, and his mother, roberta and the entire mccain family, our hearts are with you and with all those across our country and around the world who grieve the loss of this great american patriot and statesman. today, we give john sidney mccain iii back to the god of love that gave them to us.
while we mourn his death, our faith tells us that beyond this life, there is indeed, more life. and god never lets us go. so as the old prayer says, we gather to give thanks for all of the goodness and courage that have passed from john mccains life into the lives of others. and have left the world a richer and better place. for his life task faithfully and honorably discharged for good humor, gracious affection, kindly generosity. for sadness met without surrender and weakness endured without defeat. may the lord bless him and keep him this day and always. thank you.
these are among his final thoughts. my father, had every reason to think the world was an awful place. my father had every reason to think the world was not worth fighting for. my father had every reason to think the world was worth leaving. he did not think any of those things. like the hero of his favorite book, john mccain took the opposite view. he had to have a lot of luck to have had such a good life. i am here before you today saying the words i have never wanted to say. giving the speech i've never wanted to give. feeling the loss i have never wanted to feel. my father is gone. john sidney mccain iii was many things. he was a sailor, he was an aviator, he was a husband, he was a warrior, he was a
prisoner, hero, congressman, senator, a nominee for the president of the united states. these are all of the titles and the roles of a life that has been well lived. they not the greatest of his titles. you're the most important of his rules. he was a great man. we gather here to mourn the passing of american greatness. the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly. nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. he was a great fire who burned bright. in the past few days, my family and i've heard from so many of those americans who stood in the warmth and the light of his fire and found illuminated what is best about them.
we are grateful to them because they are grateful to him. if you have resented that fire, the light is cast upon them, for the truth revealed about their character, my father never cared what they thought. and even that small number still have the opportunity as long as they draw breath to live up to the example of john mccain. my father was a great man. he was a great warrior, he was a great american. i admired him for all of these things. but i love him because he was a great father. my father knew what it was like to grow up in the shadow of greatness. he did just as his father had done before him. he was the son of a great admiral who is also the son of a great admiral. when it came time for the third john sidney mccain to become a man had no choice but in his own eyes, watched in those same paths.
he had to become a sailor, he had to go to war. he had to have a shot at becoming a great admiral as they had also done. the path of his father and grandfather let my father directly to the heralding hell of the hanoi hilton. this is the public legend that is john mccain. this is where all of the biography campaign literature and public remembrances say he showed his character, his patriotism, his faith. and his endurance in the worst of possible circumstances. this is where we learn who john mccain truly was. all of that is very true. except for the last part. today i want to share with you where i found out who john mccain truly was. it wasn't in the hanoi hilton. it wasn't in the cockpit of a fast and lethal fighter jet. it wasn't on the high seas or on the campaign trail. john mccain was in all of those places but the best of him was
somewhere else. the best of john mccain, the greatest of his titles and the most importantof his roles was as a father . imagine the warrior the night the skies gently carrying his little girl to bed, imagining the dashing aviator that hurtled into the self china sees kissing her when i fell and skinned my knees. imagine the distinguished statesman council president and the powerful, singing with his little girl during a rainstorm, singing in the rain. imagine the senator, fierce conscious taking his daughter to school because he believes i would learn more about america at the town halls he held across the country. imagine the elderly veteran of war and government whose wisdom
and courage were sought by the most distinguished men of our time. with his eyes shining with happiness as he gave his blessing for his grown daughters marriage. you all have to imagine that. i don't have to because i lived at all. i know who he was. i know what defined him. i got to see it every single day of my blessed life. john mccain is not defined by prison, by the navy, by the senate, by the republican party or by any single one of the deeds in his absolutely extraordinary life. john mccain was defined by love. several of you out there and few have crossed words of them or found yourself on the receiving end of his famous temper, or at a cross to him on anything or right at this moment in your best to stay stonefaced. don't. you know full well if john mccain were in your shoes toda , he will be using some salty what he learned in the navy while my mother jabbed him in the arm in embarrassment.
he would look back at her and grumble. and maybe stop talking but he would keep grinning. she was the only one who could do that. on their first date, when he still did not know what sort of woman she was, he recited a servicer called the cremation of sam mcgee. but alaskan prospector who welcomed his cremation as the only way to get warm in the icy north. there are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold. the arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold. he had learned in hanoi. prisoner in the next cell had wrapped it out and code over and over again over the long captivity pima father figured if cindy would sit through that and appreciate the dark humor that he had so many years in imprisonment, she just might sit there a lifetime with him as well. and she did. john mccain was defined by
love. this love of my father for my mother was the most fierce and lasting of them all. let me tell you what love meant to john mccain. and me. his love was the love of father who mentors as much as he comforts. he was endlessly present for us. no, we did not always understand it. he was always teaching. he did not expect us to be like him. his ambitions for us was to be better than him. armed with his wisdom and informed by his experiences. long before we were even old enough to have assembled our own. as a girl i did not fully appreciate what i most fully appreciate now. how he suffered and how he wore it with stoic silence that was once the mark of an american man.
i came to appreciate it first when he demanded it of me, i was a small girl drawn from a horse and crying from a busted collarbone. my dad picked me up and took me to the dr. and got me all fixed up. then he immediately took me back home and made me get back on that very same horse. i was furious at him as a child. but how i love him for it now. my father knew pain and suffering with an intimacy and immediacy that most of us are blessed never to have endured. he was shot down, crippled, beaten, starved, tortured and humiliated. that pain never left him. the cruelty of his communist captures insured he would never raise his arms above his head for the rest of his life. yet, he survived. yet, he endured. yet, he triumphed. and there was this man who had been through all of that with a little girl who simply did not want to get back on her horse.
he could have sat me down and told me all of that and made me feel small because my complaint and my fear was nothing next to his pain and memory. instead, he made me feel loved. meghan he said, his quiet voice that spoke with authority that meant you must obey, get back on the horse. i did. and because i was a little girl i resented it. now that i am a woman, i look back across the time and i see the expression on his face when i climbed back up and i rode again. i saw in his eyes and he said nothing is going to break you. for the rest of my life, whenever i fall down i would get back up. whenever i'm hurt i-drive on. whenever i am brought low, i rise. that is not because i am uniquely virtuous. or strong or resilient. it is simply because my father,
john mccain, was. when my father got sick, when i asked him what he wanted me to do at this eulogy,he said , show them how tough you are! that is what love meant to john mccain. look for my father also meant caring for the nation that trust in him. my father, the true son of his father and grandfather was born into an enduring sense of the heart with character of american greatness. and convinced of the need to defend it with ferocity and faith . john mccain was born in a distant now vanquished outpost of american power. he understood america as a sacred trust. he understood the demands, responsibilities even before defends its rights.
he knew navigating the line between good and evil was often difficult. but always -- he graphed that our purpose and meeting was rooted in a missionaries responsibility stretching back centuries. just as the first americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment and freedom and self-government, so their descendents have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self. the america of john mccain is the america of the revolution. fighters with no stomach for the summer soldier and sunshine patriots making the world -- the america john mccain was the america of abraham lincoln. fulfilling the promise of the declaration of independence that all men are created equal. and suffering greatly to see it through. the america of john mccain is the america of the boys who rush the colors in every war across three centuries. knowing that in them, is a life of the republic.
particularly, those as ronald reagan said, give up their chance of being husbands and fathers and grandfathers and give up their chance to be revered old man. the america of john mccain is the america of vietnam. fighting the fight, even in the most forlorn cause, even in the most grim circumstances, even the most distant and hostile corner of the world. standing in defeat for the life of liberty of other peoples in other lands. the america john mccain is generous. and welcoming and bold. she is resourceful and confident and secure. she meets her responsibilities. she speaks quietly because she is strong. america does not boast because she is no need to. the america of john mccain has no need to be made great again because america is always great. [applause]
that fervent faith, the proven devotion, the abiding love, that is what drove my father from the fiery skies above the red river delta to the brink of the presidency itself. love defined my father. as a young man he wondered if he would measure up to his distinguished lineage. i miss him so badly. i want to tell him that he did. but i take small comfort in this. somewhere in the great beyond, where the warriors go, there are two admirals of the united states meeting their much loved son telling them he is the greatest among them. dad, i love you, i always have.
all that i am, all that i hope, all that i dream is grounded in what you taught me. you loved me and he showed me what love must be. an ancient greek historian wrote that the image of great men is woven into the stuff of other men's lives. dad, your greatness is woven into my life. it is woven into my mother's life, it is woven into my sister's life and that is woven into my brothers lives. it is woven into life and liberty of the country you sacrificed so much to defend. i know you were not perfect. we live in an era where we not that old american heroes for all their imperfections. when no leader wants to admit to failure. you were an exception and to give us an ideal to strive for. look, i know you can see this gathering here in this cathedral.
the nation is here to remember you. like so many other heroes, you leave us the flag you love, you defended it, sacrificed it and have always honored it. it is good to remember that we are american. we do not put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them. we raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues. this is how we honor them and this is how we will honor you. my father is gone. my father is gone and my sorrow is immense. but i know his life and i know it was great because it was good. and as much as i hate to see him go, i do know how it ended. i know on the afternoon of
august 25 in front of oak creek in arizona, surrounded by the family he loved so much, an old man shook off the scars of battle one last time and arose a new man. a pilot one last flight. up and up and up. straight on through to the kingdom of heaven. and he left the earthly bond, put out his earthly hand and touched the faith of god. i love you dad. [applause]
>> cindy mccain, and the wonderful mccain family, presidents clinton, bush and obama, secretaries kissinger and clinton, all the other honored guests that are here ladies and gentlemen. becoming john mccains friend is one of the great blessings of my life. being asked to pay tribute to him today, as one of the great honors. and for that, i think cindy and the entire mccain family. and i also want to thank them, putting his mother, his brother, his sister, the seven wonderful children, for the love and support you gave john throughout his life and his service. none more than in the last year of his life. and you, cindy, have been
absolutely saintly. and we, his friends, cannot thank you enough. there is a special satisfaction that comes from serving a cause greater than yourself. i heard john say those words hundreds of times. particularly a lot as well. for him we are not just words in a speech, they were the creed that he lived by. the greater cause to which he devoted his life, was america. not so much the country defined by its warriors. but the america of our founding values. democracy and equal justice under law. john's life, he nobly served and advanced these american
values. and remarkably, his death seems to have reminded the american people that these values are what makes us a great nation. not the tribal partisanship and personal attack politics that have recently characterized our life. this week, celebration of the life and values and patriotism of this hero, i think you have taken our country above all that. in a way, it is the last great lift that john mccain gave america. and i want to suggested that we can give a last great gift to him which is to nurture these values. and take them forward into the years ahead to make america the
better country john always knew they could be. i pray that we will. and i ask you to do so as well. let me try to pay tribute to this great man by describing and sharing stories from our friendship. which began in the early 1990s as part of a bipartisan group pushing our government to stop the aggression and slaughter in bosnia.then we began to collaborate on a lot of bipartisan legislation. but really, our friendship deepened in our travels together around the world with our third amigo, lindsey graham. when you traveled with john, even with lindsey along, the purpose was not to have fun.
it was it seemed to survive the schedule he organized. john had a restless energy every day including the days that we traveled to get the most out of every day, he possibly could and he did. and so did we. who are privileged to know him. john traveled to learn so that he could be a better senator. he traveled to represent america as best he could wherever we went and he did. and he traveled to support the men and women of our armed services whether in war or at peace wherever they were. and they, in turn, welcomed him and not just respect but awe, as a hero that john mccain was, is and always will be. and shared experience and long conversations, and these trips
we get to know each other and trust each other in a way that does not happen because it can happen much anymore. in the washington life of senators. our friendship taught me many things. including i must add, some jokes that i otherwise never would have known. [laughter] john loved to laugh. and make others laugh. when he found a joke that people liked, he told it over and over and over again! [laughter] one of my favorites was about the two inmates going through the line for dinner at the state penitentiary. one says to the, the food is terrible here. and the other says it was a lot better when i was governor. [laughter] yeah. [laughter] i heard that one often.
and i laughed every time because john laughed so hard every time he told it. [laughter] the range of his mind, interest and experience was often surprising. you could not characterize this man. he loved to read history and fiction and talk about it, argue about it. he had a pervasive curiosity about everything in life. he loved the outdoors. and all of gods creatures large and small who lived there. most people would be surprised how much pleasure this combat of senator got from watching the hummingbirds at the mccain family home. outside sedona, arizona. but of course, john's great strength was his character. he was honest, fair and civilized. in all of the times we were
together, i never heard him say a bigoted word about anyone! the american people saw this great quality most clearly during the 2000 campaign when that woman made an offensive statement against then senator barack obama. what was most important to me about john's reaction was that it was pure reflex. who he was, he did not need to consult anyone. he immediately defended his opponents name and honor. and thereby, elevated for that moment, our politics and made us a more perfect union. personally, i can tell you that john was a real friend and accommodating to him what were unusual practices as a religiously observant jew. whether is working with me on a saturday to an important
meeting or turning down a popular friday night dinner invitation at the munich security conference we went to every year because it was too far to walk. we would stay in a hotel and have what he learned to call our shalom shabot dinners. they were peaceful dinners but with john not that peaceful. john naturally and doing these wonderful acts of friendship grumbled all the way. what i was putting them through, you know. right now i think he is probably deriving some pleasure from the fact that it turned out this was held on a saturday and i had to walk to get here. [laughter] i am sure if he were right now here he would tell me it was divine justice. [laughter] he ultimately, as he did with so much of his life, turned these interfaith experiences
into a truly hilarious comedy routine. it began with a solemn pronouncement by john. that he was converted to judaism. then, he explained much less solemnly, i do this not because of any particular liking for the religion, it is just as for so many years i've had to go along with all of his religious nonsense that i might as well convert and get the benefits! [laughter] one of his favorite targets was the elevators and israeli hotels which are preprogrammed to stop at every floor. john had many virtues but patience was not one of them. those were not the happiest times we spent together. i say this, both to say in
stories, how full and genuine was his acceptance of my religious practices which were different from what he knew but also to make a larger point. because i can tell you, everything we did together around the world and in washington, and across america, he showed the same acceptance, respect, curiosity about everybody's religious observances and about everything else about them that was different from himself and his own experiences. i have said that patience was one virtue that john did not have. forgiveness was a great virtue he did have. and here's a story that will make that clear. once on a trip to hanoi, as we were touring the hanoi hilton, a crowd of vietnamese college students recognized john. and they began to chant wildly,
mccain, mccain! they wanted to take his pictures and have him sign autographs. when it was over, i asked him, why he got such a rockstar reception in hanoi? and with classic directness he said, well, first it is because they have been taught that i was treated a lot better here than i really was. and second, is because of the normalization of relations between the u.s. and vietnam. that was a classic mccain understatement. along with president clinton, and john kerry, he was about bringing normalized relations between the u.s. and vietnam. the next ordinary act of personal forgiveness when you consider what the vietnamese did to him during his 5 and a half years as a prisoner of
war. after his injuries in vietnam, he could not pursue his ambitions in the navy. so he turned to government service. as his greater american cause. of course, i did not know john in his youth but i do not think from what i've heard that he was born with the natural skills of a legislator. and yet, he learned them and became a great one. he knew when to be immovable and when to negotiate and compromise to get something done. he regularly reached across party lines because he knew that was the only way to solve problems and seize opportunities for the people of our country and his state. as a result, his legislative record is extremely impressive. he also fought and lost some big battles. to stop climate change, to
close the loopholes, to broadly reform our immigration laws. but that never seemed to get him down. or diminish his ardor for the next battle. he loves to win but also loved a good fight for a just cause. even if it did not succeed. overall, he won many more than he lost. and all of his big wins were achieved with bipartisan support. in 2008, when john was the republican nominee for president, he had this far out idea of asking a democrat to be his running mate. can you believe that? let me explain it to you as he did. he first talked to me about i said you know, i'm really honored. but i do not see how you can do it. even as i lost my last election as an independent, and still a registered democrat. john's response was direct.
and really ennobling. that is the point, joe! he said with a certain impatience. you are democrat, i am republican, we can give our country the bipartisan leadership it needs for a change when john returned to the senate after surgery last summer and voted against the republican health care bill, some people accused him of being disloyal to his party and the president. but that was not the case. if you listened to the speech he gave that day it was clear that the vote was not really against the bill. but against the mindless partisanship that has taken control of both political parties and government and produced totally one-sided responses. to complicate problems like
healthcare. of course, he was right. in his remarks last july john also spoke eloquently about our position in the world. america's continuing responsibility for principled leadership in the world, it was as if he had thought it might be one of his last opportunities to move his colleagues and his country is a speech worth reading but i do want to quote - one sentence. what greater cause could we hope to serve then helping keep america the strongest firing, inspirational beacon of liberty and dignity and defender of the dignity of all human beings. that in short, was the mccain american foreign policy. moral, engaged and strong. and again, these words were not just rhetoric for john. he acted on them. he lived them. in our travels around the world
i could tell you, he always reassured our allies and unsettled our enemies. standing for america's best values, attacking totalitarian governments. whether in moscow, tehran, pyongyang or anywhere else. if we were going to a country that was not fully free, john insisted we meet with the local human rights activists as well as the government. i will never forget that day in me-- we met three men who had just been released from political prison and showed terrible signs of physical and psychological abuse. and yet, they told us that they would never have survived if they had not heard in jail,
that the great american senator, john mccain, had supported their cause. read their names on the u.s. senate floor and demanded their release. on another occasion, we visited a refugee camp the syrians i had been forced out of the country into turkey with the iranians and the russians. we were the first members of congress to visit the camp and there was concern about the reception we would receive. earlier in the day in fact an official of the you and i had been there and was booed and had shoes thrown at him. when we arrived, a large crowd of syrian refugees had formed and was in fact chanting. rather than booing an throwing shoes they were cheering and cheering, cheering and chanting words of welcome and thanks and
the two words that they chanted most, were john mccain. the most remarkable about these two stories, i will tell what is remeasuriarkable is how unremarkable they are. and because the name john mccain, based on the actions john mccain, had become a source of hope and inspiration for oppressed people throughout the world. as it was a source of security for allied countries that share our values. one last story, one of john's favorite cities in the world was jerusalem. and one of his favorite things to do there was to stand on the balcony with lindsey and me of our hotel, looking out at the old city and discussing all the religious and political history
that had happened there over the centuries. so when i first told john that i had decided not to run for the senate again in 2012, he was puzzled and frankly, even a little bit angry. but then the next day, he called me and this is my best recollection of the conversation. he said, you know, i've been thinking. if you go out into the private sector, you're going to make some more money and then you and hadasa can afford to buy a second home in jerusalem that has an extra room for me. [laughter] >> with a balcony where we could look out and talk about that city and its history. well, since then, when i talked to john, or visited with him, he would ask me, joey, have you made enough money yet to buy
that place in jerusalem? and i'd answer, not yet, johnnie, but i'm getting closer. now, sadly, fate has intervened before we could realize that dream. but i am comforted by the fact that jerusalem is not just a holy and historic city. it is also the visionary symbol of the dreams that all people share and the destiny that we all desire. it is the original heavenly shining city on the hill and in that sense, for many people in the life of the spirit, jerusalem, the shining city on the hill are really heaven. and it is to that heavenly jerusalem, where i am confident
the soul of john sidney mccain iii is going now. and i want to imagine that there's going to be a beautiful home waiting for him there with a balcony from which he can contempla contemplate the shining city and hopefully inspire us here on earth to conduct ourselves with just some of the patriotism, principles and courage, that characterize his magnificent life of service to america and to so many noble causes greater than himself. god speed, dear friend. may angels sing you to your eternal home. [applause]
gifts. i met john for the first time in april, 1973 at a white house reception for prisoners returned from captivity in vietnam. he had been much on my mind during the negotiations to end the vietnam war. probably, also, because his father, then commander-in-chief of the pacific command, when briefing the president answered references to his son by saying only, i pray for him. in the mccain family, national
service was its own reward. they did not allow for special treatment. i thought of that when his vietnamese captives, during the final phase of negotiations offered to release john so that he could return with me on the official plane that had brought me to hanoi. against all my instincts, i thanked them for their offer, but refused it. i wondered what john would say when we finally met. his greeting was both
self-efacing and moving. thank you for saving my honor. he did not tell me then or ever that he had had an opportunity to be freed years earlier, but had refused, a decision for which he had to endure additional periods of isolation and hardship. nor did he ever speak of his captivity again during the near half century of close friends p friendship. john's focus was on creating a better future.
as a senator, he supported the restoration of relations with vietnam, helped bring it about on a bipartisan basis in the clinton administration and became one
of the advocates of reconciliation with his erstwhile enemy. honor was john's lodestar. it's an intangible quality. it is not obligatory. it has no written code. it reflects an inward compunction free of self-intere
self-interest. it fulfills a cause not a personal ambition. it represents what a society lives for beyond the necessities of the moment. law makes life possible. honor and noble ility for john was a way of life. john returned to
an america divided over its presidency, divided over the war amidst all the turmoil and civic unrest, divided over the best way to protect our country and should
be respected for its power or its ideals. john came back from the war and declared that this is an america that owed it to itself to embrace both strengths and ideals. in decades of congressional service, ultimately as chairman of the senate armed services committee, john was an indefatiguable exponent of an america strong enough to vindicate its purpose, but john believed, also, in a compassionate america governed
by -- guided by core principles for which american foreign policy must always stand. with liberty and justice for all is not an empty sentiment, he argued. it is the foundation of our national consciousness. to john american values had universal applicability. i do not believe, he said, that there is an arab exception any more than there is a black exception or an asian or latin exception. he warned against the temptation
of withdrawal from the world. we will not thrive in a world, he warned, where our leadership and ideals, our actions, we would not deserve it. in this manner, john mccain's name became synonymous with an america that reached out to oblige the powerful and give hope to the oppressed. john were never academic maxims, he was in the front lines of all these battles for decency and freedom. he was an engaged vet warrior,
wasted life. like most people of my age, i feel a longing for what is lost and cannot be restored. but if the happy pursuits and casual beauty of youth prove it, something better can endure and endure until our last moments on earth. and that is the love we give at a moment in our lives when we sacrifice for something greater
than ourselves. heroes inspire us by the matter of factness of their sacrifice and the elevation. the world will be lonelier without john mccain, his ebullience, his faith in america and his instinctive sense of moral duty. none of us will ever forget how, even in his parting, john has bestowed on us a much-needed
distinctive, it's hard to think of them stilled. a man who seldom rested is laid to rest. and his absence is tangible, like the silence after a mighty roar. the thing about john's life was the amazing sweep of it. from a tiny prison cell in vietnam to the floor of the united states senate. from trouble making plebe to presidential candidate. wherever john passed throughout the world, people immediately knew there was a leader in their midst and one epic life was written the courage and greatness of our country. for john and me, there was a personal journey. our hard-fought political history. back in the day, he could frustrate me, and i know he'd
say the same thing about me, but he also made me better. in recent years, would he sometimes talked of that intense period like football players, remembering a big game. in the process, rivalry melted away. in the end, i got to enjoy one of life's great gifts, the friendship of john mccain, and i'll miss him. moments before my last debate ever with senator john kerry in phoenix, i was trying to gather some thoughts in the holding room. i felt a presence, opened my eyes and six inches from my face was mccain, who yelled, relax, relax! (laughter)
>> john was above all a man with a code. he lived bye a set of public virtues that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. he was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen. he was honest, no matter whom it offended. presidents were not spared. he was honorable, always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings. he loved freedom, with the passion of a man who knew its absence. he respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. perhaps above all, john detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering despots. there was something deep inside
him that made him stand up for the little guy, to speak for for gotten people, and forgotten places. one friend from his naval academy days recalls how john while a lowly plebe react today an upper classman verbally abuse a steward. and in tradition he told the jerk to pick on someone his own size. it was a familiar refrain from his six decades of service. where does such strength of conviction come from? perhaps from a family where honor was in the atmosphere, or from the firsthand experience of cruelty which left physical reminders that lasted his whole life. or from some deep well of moral principle. whatever the cause, it was this combination of courage and decency that defined john's calling and so closely paralleled the calling of his
country. it's his combination of courage and decency that makes the american military something new in history, an unrivaled power for good. it's this combination of courage and decency that set america on a journey and into the world to liberate death camps, to stand guard against extremism, and to work for the true peace that comes only with freedom. john felt these commitments in his bones. it is a tribute to his moral compass that dissidents and prisoners in so many places, from russian to north korea, to china knew that he was on their side. and i think their respect meant more to him than any medals and honors life could bring. the passion for fairness and justice extended to our own military. when a private was poorly equipped or a seaman was in
terrible conditions, john enjoyed nothing more than dressing down an admiral or general and he remained a troub troublesome plebe until the end. john confronted policies and practices he believed were unworthy of his country. to the face of those in authority, john mccain would insist, we are better than this. america is better than this. john would be the first to tell you is not a perfect man, but he dedicated his life to national ideals that are as perfect as men and women had yet conceived. he was motivated by a vision of america carried ever forward, ever upward on the strength of its principles. he saw our country not only as a physical place or power, but as the carrier of enduring human aspirations, as an advocate for the oppressed, as a defender of
the peace, as a promise unwavering, undimmed, unequal. the strength of democracy is renewed by reaffirming the principles on which it's founded and america has always found leaders who were up to that task, particularly at the time of greatest need. john was born to meet at that-- that kind of children to defend the ideals of our nation. if we're ever tempt today-- tempted to forget that, john's voice will come as a whisper over our shoulder, we're better than this. america is better than this. john was a restless soul. he really didn't glory in success or wallow in failure because he was always onto the next thing. friends said, he can't stay in the same experience.
[applause] >> to john's beloved family, mrs. mccain, cindy and the mccain children, president and mrs. bush, president and secretary clinton, vice-president and mrs. biden, vice-president and mrs. cheney, vice-president gore, and as john would say, my friends, we come to celebrate an extraordinary m man, a warrior, a statesman, a
patri patriot, who embodied so much that is best in america. president bush and i are among the fortunate few who competed against john at the highest levels of politics. he made us better presidents, just as he made the senate better, just as he made this country better. so, for someone like john to ask you while he's still alive to stand and speak of him when he's gone is a precious and singular honor. now, when john called me with that request earlier this year, i'll admit, sadness, and also a certain surprise. but after our conversation
ended, i realized how well it captured some of john's essential qualities. to start with, john liked being unpredictable, even a little contrary. he had no interest in conforming to some pre-packaged version of what a senator should be and he didn't want a memorial that was going to be pre-packaged either. it also showed john's distan for self-pity. he had been to hell and back and yet, somehow never lost his energy or his optimism or his zest for life. so cancer did not scare him and he would maintain that buoyant spirit until the end, too stubborn to sit still,
opinionated as ever, fiercely devoted to his friends and most of all, to his family. it showed his irreverence, his sense of humor, a little bit of a mischievous streak, after all, what better way to get a last laugh to make george and i say nice things about him to a national audience. [laughte [laughter] >> and most of all, it showed a largeness of spirit. an ability to see past differences in search of common grou ground. and, in fact, on the surface, john and i could not have been more different. we're of different generations. i came from a broken home and
never knew my father. john was from one of america's most distinguished american families. i have a reputation for keeping cool. john not so much. [laughte [laughter] >> we were standard bearers of different american political traditions and throughout my presidency, john never hesitated to tell me when he thought i was screwing up, which by his calculation was about once a day. day. but for all our difference, for all the times we sparred, i never tried to hide, and i think john came to understand the longstanding admiration that i had for him. my his own account, john was a rebellious young man. in his case, that's understandable, what faster way
to distinguish yourself when you're the son and grandson of admirals than to mutiny? eventually though, he concluded that the only way to really make his mark on the world is to commit to something bigger than yourself. and for john, that meant answering the highest of callings, serving his country in a time of war. others this week and this morning have spoken to the depths of his torment and the depths of his courage there in the cells of hanoi, when day after day, year after year, that youthful iron was tempered into steel. that brings to mind something that hemingway wrote and the
book that meghan referred to, his favorite book. today is only one day in all the days that will ever be, but what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. in captivity john learned in way few of us ever will, the meaning of those words. how each moment, each day, each choice is a test. and john mccain passed that test again and again and again. and that's why when john spoke of virtues like service and duty, it didn't ring hollow.
they weren't just words to him. it was a truth that he had lived. and for which he was prepared to die. and it forced even the most cynical to consider what were we doing for our country? what might we risk everything for? and much has been said this week about what a maverick john was. now, in fact, john was a pretty conservative guy. trust me, i was on the receiving end of some of those votes. but he did understand that some principles transcend politics. that some values transcend
party. he considered it part of his duty to uphold those principles and uphold those values. john cared about the institutions of self-government, our constitution, our bill of rights, rule of law, separation of powers, even the arcane rules and procedures of the senate. he knew that in a nation as big bo boyserous as ours, those rules bind us together to gave shape to our common life. and even when we disagree, especially when we disagree. john believed in honest
argument, in hearing other views. he understood that if we get in the habit of bending the truth to suit political expediency or party orthodoxy, our democracy will not work. that's why he was willing to buck his own party at times, occasionally work across the aisle on campaign finance reform and immigration reform. that's why he championed a free and independent press as vital to our democratic debates. and the fact that it earned him some good coverage didn't hurt either. john understood, as jfk understood, as ronald reagan understood, that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our bloodline, not on what we look like, what our last names
are, it's not based on where our parents or grandparents came from or how recently they arrived, but on adherence to a common creed, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our creator to certain inalienable rights. it's been mentioned today, and we've seen footage this week, of john pushing back against supporters who challenged my patriotism during the 2008 campai campaign. i was grateful, but i wasn't surprised. as joe lieberman said, it was john's instinct. i never saw john treat anyone differently because of their race or religion or gender.
and i'm certain that in those moments that have been referred to during the campaign, he saw himself as defending america's character, not just mine. for he considered it the imperative of every citizen who loves this country to treat all people fairly. and finally, while john and i disagreed on all kinds of foreign policy issues, we stood together on america's role as the one, believing that with great power and great blessings comes great responsibility. that burden is borne most heavily by our men and women in uniform, service members like doug and jimmy, and jack, who
followed their father's footsteps. as well as the families who serve alongside our troops. but john understood that our security and our influence was one not just by our military might, not just by our wealth, not just by our ability to bend others to our will, but from our capacity to inspire others, with our adherence to a set of universal values, like rule of law and human rights and an insistence on the god-given dignity of every human being. of course, john was the first to tell us that he was not perfect. like all of us who go into public service, he did have a
e ego. like all of us, there was no doubt some votes he cast, some compromises he struck, some decisions he made that he wished he could have back. it's no secret, it's been mentioned that he had a temper, and when it flared up, it was a force of nature, a wonder to behold, his jaw grinding, his face reddening, his eyes boring a hole right through you. not that i ever experienced it firsthand, mind you. but to know john was that as quick as his passions might flare, he was just as quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. he knew more than most his own
flaws, and his blindspots and he knew how to laugh at himself and that self-awareness made him all the more compelling. and we didn't advertise it, but every so often over the course of my presidency, john would come over to the white house and we'd just sit and talk in the oval office, just the two of us, and we'd talk about policy and we'd talk about family, and we'd talk about the state of our politics. and our disagreements didn't go away during these private conversations. those were real, and they were often deep, but we enjoyed the time we shared away from the bright lights, and we laughed with each other, and we learned from each other. and we never doubted the other
man's sincerity, or the other man's patriotism, or that when all was said and done, we were on the same team. we never doubted we were on the same team. for all of our differences, we shared a fidelity to the ideals for which generations of americans have marched and fought and sacrificed and given their lives. we considered our political battles a privilege, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those ideals here at home and to do our best to advance them around the world. we saw this country as a place where anything is possible and citizenship is an obligation to
ensure it forever remains that w way. and more than once during her career, john drew comparisons to teddy roosevelt. i'm sure it's been noted that roosevelt's man the arena oration seems tailored to john. and those who dare to do great i think so this, who sometimes win and sometimes come up short, but always relish a good fight, a contrast to those cold, timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat. isn't that the spirit we celebrate this week? that striving to be better?
to do better? to be worthy of the great inheritance that our founders bestowed? so much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outra outrage. it's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but, in fact, is born in fear. john called on us to be bigger than that. he called on us to be better than that.
today is only one day in all the days that will ever be, but what will happen in all the other days that will ever come can depend on what you do today. what better way to honor john mccain's life of service than as best we can, follow his example? to prove that the willingness to get in the arena and fight for this country is not reserved for the few, it is open to all of s us. and, in fact, it's demanded of all of us as citizens of this great republic. that's perhaps how we honor him best, by recognizing that there are some things bigger than party or ammunition or money or
fame or power. that there's some things that are worth risking everything r for. principles that are eternal, truths that are abiding. it is -- at his best john showed us what that means. for that we are all deeply in his debt. may god bless john mccain. may god bless this country he served so well. [applause] ♪
console us who mourn. give us to see the gate of eterm life so in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth until by your call we are reunited for those who have gone before. through jesus christ our lord, amen. most merciful god whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, deal graciously with john and family and friends in their grief. surround them with your love so they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness and strength to meet the days to come, through jesus christ our lord. amen.
they're at peace. for though in the sight of others, they were punished, their hope is feel of immortality. having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good because god tested them and found them worthy of himself. those who trust in him will understand truth and the faithful will abide with him in love because grace and mercy are important his holy ones and he who watches over his elect. the word of the lord.